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Column: Obama Has Much To Answer As Nation Looks To November

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It's over. It's finally, finally over and done with. The long battle has now come to a conclusion. There are casualties on both sides, which are being taken care of. Yes, the Democratic primary has now fizzled to an expected conclusion.

Where in the heck did Senator Obama come from? Who, outside of the great state of Illinois, had even heard of him three years ago? What is it about this man that causes people to shed tears of joy for being able to see him?

These are all questions that deserve to be asked. These are all questions that deserve to be answered.

A wise Ball State professor once said this race is interesting solely for the geography of the contenders. On one side, we see a senator from Arizona, who was born in Panama. On the other side we have a senator from Illinois, who was seemingly born in a manger.

I'm only kidding, of course. Barack Obama has achieved far more in his young political life than I, along with most of the people in this country, ever will. He has earned all that he has and has worked very hard during this campaign. He has brought politics back into the lives of America's youth and has stimulated American politics in a way few people ever have.

I think we all should be grateful to him for what he has done so far. But this is when the real work does truly begin.

I am not giving John McCain a free ride. He has a tough road ahead of him to get to November. He has to convince independent voters that he is the right man for the job. He has to convince conservatives that he is far enough to the right, while also convincing moderates he is close enough to the center. He has to approach being a supporter of the Iraq war very carefully. People are talking more and more about his age being a factor, especially when choosing a vice president. McCain has no free rides in this election. That much is sure.

Hillary, now with the pressure of her campaign removed from her shoulders, has much to think about. Can she be a vice president? I get the distinct feelings that Republicans are hoping that Obama will pick her, making the supposed "Super Ticket" we've all heard so much about. As is the case with any campaign, video can come back to haunt a candidate. I can distinctly remember video of Hillary saying, "Shame on you, Barack Obama." It was back when he was trying to get her to drop out of the race for the good of the party. Republicans will be having a field day asking if the American people are going to be asked to believe that all is well between Obama and Clinton.

Clinton is not done either. If we have learned anything from this campaign, it is that Hillary is determined to be president of the United States. It is her true life's ambition. A case can be made that everything she has done, since becoming the First Lady of Arkansas, or even going to law school, has been a stepping stone to her being president.

Now the real fun begins. Both campaigns will not be resting on recent developments. The election is only about fourmonths away.

The American people will decide soon enough.

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